National Championship Picks
Favorites (Top 4)
Ohio State +800
The other three being Alabama, USC, and Florida State. Since Urban Meyer came to town in 2012, they’ve lost a total of 6 games. Last year was a disappointment and they still made the playoff. The Buckeyes return 15 starters and they have by far the easiest schedule of the four. Could be a heart attack free year for old Urb.
Second Tier (40-1 or less)
A great price for a team that ended up +24 ppg last year, returns two Heisman contenders among 13 starters, and has maybe the easiest schedule among Power 5 teams.
Darkhorse (105-1 or less)
Oregon and TCU (+10500)
If you read through the season win total previews, this shouldn’t be a surprise. They’re two programs that have both been near the top tier in recent years, but are coming off disappointing seasons with a lot of starters returning. The obvious difference is that Gary Patterson is in his 17th year in Fort Worth, while Willie Taggart is just getting started. Both are playing relatively soft schedules.
Super Darkhorse (110-1 or more)
South Carolina +100000
They weren’t terrible last year and they’ve got a lot coming back. They don’t play any of the top 3 from the SEC West. Yeah, Will Muschamp is still their coach, but he did go 11-2 his second year at Florida. That’s something.
Favorites (Top 5)
Saquon Barkley +1400
It’s kind of a muddled mess, with varied values on guys depending on the book, so it’s best to shop around. I took Barkley as a Super Darkhorse guy last year and he might’ve made it to New York if Penn State wouldn’t have spent the first half of the year outside of the top 25. The biggest problem for him is probably Trace McSorley cancelling him out.
Second Tier (30-1 or less)
Bo Scarbrough +2000
Took him last year at +5000. Admittedly, I felt pretty dumb for most of the year, given that he was third on the Tide in carries and rushing yards. Then, he got the bulk of the load against Washington and proceeded to run by their entire defense like a goddamn gazelle.
Once again, an Alabama RB is never a bad bet for Heisman and Bo Scarbrough still has the best, most fitting name in college football.
Darkhorse (65-1 or less)
Brandon Wimbush +5000
I don’t know, I’ve got a lot of “Lamar Jackson 2016” feels on this one. A talented, ridiculously fast QB that has an opportunity to make a big splash early in the year. I thought about going Rolls Royce Freeman here, but I think three bets related to Oregon is enough (there might be more later).
Super Darkhorse (75-1 or more)
Jacob Eason +8500
I like Georgia and they’ve got a tall white at QB, so here we are.
Wisconsin makes 4 team playoff +725
I ended up going against them winning more than 10.5, butttttt if they do, they’ve got a good shot at making the playoff if they take down the Big Ten East winner. The schedule is comically bad.
Oklahoma State makes 4 team playoff +800
I’ll never be able to quit OSU as long as Mike Gundy’s Mullet is running the show. They get the majority of legitimate Big 12 teams at home.
Oregon makes 4 team playoff +1700
TCU makes 4 team playoff +1700
I’m sorry, I can’t stop.
BYU plays in New Year’s Six +700
The schedule is just difficult enough to legitimize their birth with a strong record. Also, their four most difficult games are either at home or on a neutral field.
Appalachian State plays in New Year’s Six +1600
They’ve got a great shot to go 11-1. If they keep it close against Georgia like they did Tennessee last year, they’ll be in contention.
Alabama 14-1 National Champion +650
It’s the only way to get decent value on Alabama winning it all and I’m pretty sure this is their record every year.